Last week, a woman made headlines for landing an airplane after her husband had a heart attack and died while at the controls.
News reports tell an incredible story of a calm and collected lady who maintained her composure enough to land the twin-engine plane. To add to her stress, different people were giving her separate instructions and one engine had ran out of fuel and sputtered out as she was trying to land. Multi-engine aircraft are a challenge for trained pilots due to control issues when an engine fails.
This story is a compelling example of this woman's bravery and courage- her ability to land a twin-engine plane under such pressure is nothing short of amazing. But it's also an incredible example of how supportive the aviation community can be. The people that came to her rescue did a remarkable job assisting her.
A pilot who lived near the airport quickly flew another aircraft to her side as she descended for landing. At the same time, another lady gave her a crash course on how to fly an airplane over the radio and talked to her all the way down. Luckily, the aircraft was close to a familiar area and the woman flying had great situational awareness and even a few hours of flight training in years prior.
You can listen to the audio here if you're interested.
It's sad, indeed, that her husband didn't make it. At the same time, the assistance and support she received from the folks at the Cherryland airport makes me proud to be part of this aviation community. And it's a gentle reminder for those who fly alongside their pilot friends and family to take a "pinch-hitter" course -- or maybe even become a pilot themselves!